Our MFT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE).
COAMFTE Accreditation Standards state
Accreditation is a voluntary process whose major purpose is to ensure quality in a marriage and family therapy program. All accredited programs are expected to meet or exceed all standards of accreditation throughout their period of accreditation. The integrity of an institution and the program is fundamental and critical to the process of accreditation. Accreditation standards are regarded as minimal requirements for quality training. All accredited programs are free to include other requirements, which they deem necessary and contribute to the overall quality of the program and prepare graduates of the program for licensure.
Programs must continually evaluate themselves in relation to their institution's mission and their own program mission, goals and educational objectives. Accreditation standards, like other aspects of accreditation, are part of a slowly evolving, continuous process. In the long view, there are continuing conversations among accreditors, training programs, trainees, trained professionals, employers, and consumers from which the standards and other aspects of accreditation evolve.
The Commission has the ability to change standards as needed to meet the evolving needs of the profession. In Version 11 Standards, the Commission made a philosophical shift from input-driven standards to a more outcome-based evaluation. The Commission is earnestly interested in, and actively seeks, all comments and suggestions for modification and improvement to these standards and the process. Vested parties maintain the common goal: the best training, the most competent professionals, and the best service to the public that is realistic and available. The objective of the standards is to assure, as much as possible, that individuals trained in accredited programs are competently trained to become marriage and family therapists at the entry and doctoral levels.
The standards apply to the training of marriage and family therapists and are based on a relational view of life in which an understanding and respect for diversity and non-discrimination are fundamentally addressed, practiced, and valued. Based on this view, marriage and family therapy is a professional orientation toward life and is applicable to a wide variety of circumstances, including individual, couple, family, group, and community problems. It applies to all living systems; not only to persons who are married or who have a conventional family.
The Commission believes that a great area of concern for our profession and accredited programs is the inclusion of racial diversity in our training contexts and in the student body of our programs.
The Commission also seeks to enhance the diversity of our programs in terms of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status, without disregarding the rights of religiously affiliated institutions and institutions outside of the United States. Religiously affiliated institutions that have core beliefs directed toward conduct within their communities are entitled to protect those beliefs. All institutions are exempt from those standards that would require them to violate the laws of their states or provinces.
Graduates from COAMFTE accredited marriage and family therapy programs are trained to be clinical mental health practitioners. COAMFTE adopts the Standard Occupational Classification of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics which states that MFTs are qualified to “[d]iagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. [They]Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of professional services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.”
As a marriage and family therapist, all training is relational, related to context, and culturally sensitive, whether contact hours are relational or individual, whether diagnostic procedure is traditional or relational, and whether a presenting problem is explicitly related to a marriage, a family, or to neither. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Commission.
*Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (2005). Accreditation Standards: Version 11.0. Graduate & Post-Graduate Marriage and Family Therapy Training Programs.